Retail sales appear to be picking up.
Sales increased 4.1% for the week ending Oct. 3 compared to the previous week. When looking at year-over-year revenue, sales declined 3% for the same week, according to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate.
The jump in sales was attributed to people shopping for fall apparel and other seasonal merchandise as cooler weather prevailed around the country.
“Cooler weather provided a slight boost for retailers last week and we think this pattern could continue throughout October as both Columbus Day and Halloween promotions drive sales,” Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak said in a release. “While this small uptick provides a bit of optimism, retailers are busy preparing for the critical holiday season hoping this positive trend will continue following last year’s disastrous season after the markets collapsed.”
The National Retail Federation reported similar positive signs in September.
Retail sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 0.5% from August, but fell 1.5% year-over-year.
The NRF found that onsumers also spent money on fall apparel as well as other discretionary purchases.
“Retail is not out of the woods yet, but consumers felt comfortable enough last month to spend on more than just necessities,” Rosalind Wells, NRF chief economist said in a release. “As we head into the essential fourth quarter, retailers will likely continue aggressive promotions and discounts to bring people back into stores.”
September retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) decreased 1.5% from the previous month and 5.4% year-over-year, NRF said.
Thanks to cooler weather, Labor Day sales and a final push for back-to-school shopping, clothing and clothing accessories stores sales increased 0.5% from August but decreased 0.4% year-over-year. Electronics and appliance store sales were flat from the previous month and decreased 9.9% over last year. Health and personal care store sales also saw solid growth with sales increasing 0.8% seasonally adjusted from last month and 3.3% unadjusted year-over-year. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales also increased, with sales rising 0.1% adjusted over last month and increasing 2.9% unadjusted year-over-year.